The NBA Draft won’t get underway until later tonight, but already one of the biggest decisions of the evening has reportedly been made. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Detroit Pistons will use the No. 1 overall pick to select Cade Cunningham.
“Detroit officials traveled to New York on Wednesday, met with Cunningham a final time and finalized the decision to choose him at No.1 in meetings this morning, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski reported on Thursday, just after 1:30 p.m. ET.
“Trade offers to move up the board — including to No. 1 — continue to come, so there’s always the possibility that a proposal could blow the Pistons away. But if they’re taking the pick for themselves at No. 1 tonight, they’re taking Cade Cunningham, sources tell ESPN.”
The report comes as no surprise as Cunningham has been the consensus top prospect throughout the summer following his breath-taking freshman year at Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-8 point guard blossomed into elite scorer and shooter at the college level and took a fairly average Cowboys team into the second-round of the NCAA tournament.
Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game during his unanimous All-American season. He also shot a remarkable 40.0 percent from beyond the arc, which should bode well for his transition to the professional level.
Wojnarowski’s report is just the latest confirmation that the Pistons and the rest of the league believe that Cunningham can become a perennial All Star for years to come. Detroit’s decision to select him came as no surprise to fans and media members who have watched his stock rise over the last few months, but the excitement about his arrival in the NBA only built with the announcement that he would be this year’s No. 1 overall pick.
Trade offers to move up the board — including to No. 1 — continue to come, so there's always the possibility that a proposal could blow the Pistons away. But if they're taking the pick for themselves at No. 1 tonight, they're taking Cade Cunningham, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/qYbIEvOeTL
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
— Jake Durant (@durant_jd) July 29, 2021
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) July 29, 2021
— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) July 29, 2021
That this was ever in question at all (and I'm not sure it was) speaks to how much elite talent is at the top of this draft. https://t.co/CID8wQSAkr
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) July 29, 2021
Lol I see Woj starting his signature brand early today! https://t.co/OnqwCDwRD0
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) July 29, 2021
Pistons have a nice collection of guys now with Cade, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey. Cade is transcendent and will make everything a lot easier on both ends for those 3.
Cade and Killian is a dope passing/defense tandem. https://t.co/S8YtywGVei
— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) July 29, 2021
The Houston Rockets are on the clock. https://t.co/L74ss8SPiw
— The Dream Shake (@DreamShakeSBN) July 29, 2021
Cunningham expressed his love for Detroit and his desire to play for the organization throughout the draft process which makes the new partnership seem like a match made in heaven. He also only worked out for one team prior to the draft: the Pistons.
The 19-year-old point guard will be tasked with helping lift the organization from the depths of the Eastern Conference over the next few years. He’ll join a host of other young players in Detroit such as Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Isaiah Stewart who are expected to be the primary core for the Pistons in the seasons to come.
Cunningham has been waiting for quite some time to get confirmation on where he’s headed next year and now finally has his answer. He’ll get to work with the Pistons soon enough but will spend tonight celebrating his impressive accomplishment.